Works for Me: Greek Yogurt

by Dr. Julian Whitaker
Filed Under: General Health, Diet
Last Reviewed 04/18/2014

I’m a vegetarian so your dietary recommendations to reduce carbohydrates and increase protein intake were a little challenging—until I discovered Greek yogurt. I eat it in the morning with fresh berries, flaxseed, and a little stevia and add it to my afternoon smoothies. It tastes great and helps me get the protein I need. I hope this suggestion is helpful to you and your readers. — P.L., Pennsylvania

Thanks for the excellent suggestion. Excess milk is strained out of Greek yogurt, leaving whey protein solids behind, so it’s thicker, creamier, and packs nearly twice as much protein as regular yogurt. A one-cup serving of Greek yogurt contains 23 g of protein (compared to 12 g in regular yogurt) and half the carbohydrates (9 g versus 17 g). Look for Greek yogurt in health food stores. Good brands include Fage and Oikos.

I’m actually a fan of any kind of yogurt as long as it contains live and active cultures of beneficial bacteria that enhance intestinal health and boost immune function. Stick with plain, non-fat yogurt with no added sugars or flavorings—you can always spruce it up with fruit and add stevia or xylitol as a sweetener.

Here’s a healthy Greek yogurt-based recipe you can try. — JW

Tantalizing Tzatziki

Serves 4

2 T. extra-virgin olive oil

½ T. vinegar
1 clove garlic, finely minced
¼ tsp. salt or salt substitute
¼ tsp. pepper
½ c. Greek yogurt, strained
½ c. nonfat sour cream
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
½ tsp. fresh dill, chopped

In a small bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix until well blended. In another bowl, use a whisk to blend the yogurt with the sour cream. Add the olive oil mixture to the yogurt mixture and stir well. Fold in the cucumber and chopped fresh dill and chill for at least two hours before serving.

Note: Tzatziki is usually served with pita bread. However, a better, lower-carb option is to use it as a dip for raw vegetables. It also pairs nicely with grilled meats.

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